Teaching

  • The focus of the present article will be on one variety of inductive recombination--the use of analogies (particularly analogies between situations drawn from relatively remote knowledge domains) to solve novel problems and to form generalized rules.

  • Judging statistical claims in social contexts is fundamental to statistical literacy. This article uses a particularly contentious newspaper report that makes a cause-and-effect claim as the basis for discussing this important aspect of statistical understanding. The issue's relevance across the school curriculum is shown by extracts from curriculum documents. Teachers need to structure experiences to build ability to question claims made without proper justification. This article suggests a hierarchy to help teachers plan for and assess student learning in this area, and it closes with a plea for teachers to cooperate across subjects to achieve results.

  • Traditionally, a large class in elementary statistics is taught by having the instructor lecture for the class period with little interaction from the students. This article considers an approach for teaching a large elementary statistics class that encourages student involvement. Comments and evaluations from the students who took a class using this approach are examined.

  • Cuisenaire rods provide a concrete embodiment for teaching mean, median, and mode to middle schoolers. These statistical concepts are traditionally only taught abstractly, but may be better understood via manipulatives.

  • This article discusses a game called push-penny that can be used to develop students' intuitive feelings for the consequences of randomness.

  • This article describes an activity that can be used to illustrate random sampling techniques and the estimation of population size.

  • This article describes the "Chance" course that was created based, in part, on Chance magazine. The aim of the course is to study important current news items whose understanding requires a knowledge of chance concepts.

  • Two of the most common suggestions for improving statistics education are using substantial open-ended projects and using real data sets for statistical analysis. Both recommendations have been incorporated successfully into an elementary statistics class for non-science majors by having the students design, implement, and analyze data from their own statistical study over the course of a semester. Details of how this implementation was organized as well as a partial list of the students' projects are included.

  • Although there is consensus among statistics educators that student data collection projects are of substantial value, we feel that the planning and piloting phases of data collection are often neglected. We ask our students to write protocols or detailed plans for how the data will be collected, and to plan and conduct pilot studies before embarking on full scale data collections. We present examples and results from situations including college freshman introductory statistics courses, graduate statistics courses, and teacher training workshops.

  • This article discusses an active learning technique that can be easily incorporated into a variety of introductory statistics classes to demonstrate purely subjective and statistical confidence intervals.

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